Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1072 (ih) To require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require applicants for or holders of operating licenses for nuclear power reactors to have in effect an emergency response plan for an area within a 50-mile radius of the reactor. [Introduced...

H.R. 1072 (ih) To require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require applicants for or holders of operating licenses for nuclear power reactors to have in effect an emergency response plan for an area within a 50-mile radius of the reactor. [Introduced...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 1071

         To establish the Southwest Regional Border Authority.



                             March 4, 2003

  Mr. Reyes (for himself, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Filner, Mr. Pastor, Mr. 
    Grijalva, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, Mr. Ortiz, and Mr. Hinojosa) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on 
 Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

         To establish the Southwest Regional Border Authority.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Southwest Regional 
Border Authority Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.
Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 101. Membership and voting.
Sec. 102. Duties and powers.
Sec. 103. Authority personnel matters.

Sec. 201. Infrastructure development and improvement.
Sec. 202. Technology development.
Sec. 203. Community development and entrepreneurship.
Sec. 204. Education and workforce development.
Sec. 205. Funding.
Sec. 206. Supplements to Federal grant programs.
Sec. 207. Demonstration projects.
Sec. 208. Local development districts; certification and administrative 
Sec. 209. Distressed counties and areas and economically strong 
Sec. 210. Development planning process.
                       TITLE III--ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 301. Program development criteria.
Sec. 302. Approval of development plans and projects.
Sec. 303. Consent of States.
Sec. 304. Records.
Sec. 305. Annual report.
Sec. 306. Authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 307. Termination of authority.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) a rapid increase in population in the Southwest border 
        region is placing a significant strain on the infrastructure of 
        the region, including transportation, water and wastewater, 
        public health, and telecommunications;
            (2) 20 percent of the residents of the region have incomes 
        below the poverty level;
            (3) unemployment rates in counties in the region are up to 
        5 times the national unemployment rate;
            (4) per capita personal income in the region is 
        significantly below the national average and much of the income 
        in the region is distributed through welfare programs, 
        retirement programs, and unemployment payments;
            (5) a lack of adequate access to capital in the region--
                    (A) has created economic disparities between 
                communities in the region and communities outside the 
                region; and
                    (B) has made it difficult for businesses to start 
                up in the region;
            (6) it has been difficult for displaced workers in the 
        region to find employment because many workers--
                    (A) have limited English language proficiency; and
                    (B) lack adequate English language and job 
            (7) many residents of the region live in communities 
        referred to as ``colonias'' that lack basic necessities, 
        including running water, sewers, storm drainage, and 
            (8) many of the problems that exist in the region could be 
        solved or ameliorated by technology that would contribute to 
        economic development in the region;
            (9) while numerous Federal, State, and local programs 
        target financial resources to the region, those programs are 
        often uncoordinated, duplicative, and, in some cases, 
        unavailable to eligible border communities because those 
        communities cannot afford the required funding match;
            (10) Congress has established several regional economic 
        development commissions, including the Appalachian Regional 
        Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Denali 
        Commission, to improve the economies of those areas of the 
        United States that experience the greatest economic distress; 
            (11) many of the counties in the region are among the most 
        economically distressed in the United States and would benefit 
        from a regional economic development commission.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to establish a regional economic development authority 
        for the Southwest Border region to address critical issues 
        relating to the economic health and well-being of the residents 
        of the region;
            (2) to provide funding to communities in the region to 
        stimulate and foster infrastructure development, technology 
        development, community development and entrepreneurship, and 
        education and workforce development in the region;
            (3) to increase the total amount of Federal funding 
        available for border economic development projects by 
        coordinating with and reducing duplication of other Federal, 
        State, and local programs; and
            (4) to empower the people of the region through the use of 
        local development districts and State and regional development 
        plans that reflect State and local priorities.


    In this Act, the following definitions apply:
            (1) Attainment county.--The term ``attainment county'' 
        means an economically strong county that is not a distressed 
        county or a competitive county.
            (2) Authority.--The term ``Authority'' means the Southwest 
        Regional Border Authority established by section 101(a)(1).
            (3) Binational region.--The term ``binational region'' 
        means the area in the United States and Mexico that is within 
        150 miles of the international border between the United States 
        and Mexico.
            (4) Business incubator service.--The term ``business 
        incubator service'' means--
                    (A) a legal service, including aid in preparing a 
                corporate charter, partnership agreement, or contract;
                    (B) a service in support of the protection of 
                intellectual property through a patent, a trademark, or 
                any other means;
                    (C) a service in support of the acquisition or use 
                of advanced technology, including the use of Internet 
                services and Web-based services; and
                    (D) consultation on strategic planning, marketing, 
                or advertising.
            (5) Competitive county.--The term ``competitive county'' 
        means an economically strong county that meets at least 1, but 
        not all, of the criteria for a distressed county specified in 
        paragraph (5).
            (6) Distressed county.--The term ``distressed county'' 
        means a county in the region that--
                    (A)(i) has a poverty rate that is at least 150 
                percent of the poverty rate of the United States;
                    (ii) has a per capita market income that is not 
                more than 67 percent of the per capita market income of 
                the United States; and
                    (iii) has a 3-year unemployment rate that is at 
                least 150 percent of the unemployment rate of the 
                United States; or
                    (B)(i) has a poverty rate that is at least 200 
                percent of the poverty rate of the United States; and
                    (ii)(I) has a per capita market income that is not 
                more than 67 percent of the per capita market income of 
                the United States; or
                    (II) has a 3-year unemployment rate that is at 
                least 150 percent of the unemployment rate of the 
                United States.
            (7) Economically strong county.--The term ``economically 
        strong county'' means a county in the region that is not a 
        distressed county.
            (8) Federal grant program.--The term ``Federal grant 
        program'' means a Federal grant program to provide assistance 
                    (A) acquiring or developing land;
                    (B) constructing or equipping a highway, road, 
                bridge, or facility; or
                    (C) carrying out other economic development 
            (9) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-
        Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (10) Isolated area of distress.--The term ``isolated area 
        of distress'' means an area located in an economically strong 
        county that has a high rate of poverty, unemployment, or 
        outmigration, as determined by the Authority.
            (11) Local development district.--The term ``local 
        development district'' means an entity that--
                    (A)(i) is an economic development district that 
                            (I) in existence on the date of enactment 
                        of this Act; and
                            (II) recognized by the Economic Development 
                        Administration; and
                            (III) located in the region; or
                    (ii) if an entity described in clause (i) does not 
                            (I) is organized and operated in a manner 
                        that ensures broad-based community 
                        participation and an effective opportunity for 
                        local officials, community leaders, and the 
                        public to contribute to the development and 
                        implementation of programs in the region;
                            (II) is governed by a policy board with at 
                        least a simple majority of members consisting 
                        of designees or employees of a general purpose 
                        unit of local government that have been 
                        appointed to represent the unit of local 
                        government or elected officials; and
                            (III) is certified by the Governor or 
                        appropriate State officer as having a charter 
                        or authority that includes the economic 
                        development of counties, portions of counties, 
                        or other political subdivisions within the 
                        region; and
                    (B) has not, as certified by the Federal 
                            (i) inappropriately used Federal grant 
                        funds from any Federal source; or
                            (ii) appointed an officer who, during the 
                        period in which another entity inappropriately 
                        used Federal grant funds from any Federal 
                        source, was an officer of the other entity.
            (12) Region.--The term ``region'' means--
                    (A) the counties of Cochise, Gila, Graham, 
                Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, 
                and Yuma in the State of Arizona;
                    (B) the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, 
                Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura in 
                the State of California;
                    (C) the counties of Catron, Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, 
                Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sierra, and 
                Socorro in the State of New Mexico; and
                    (D) the counties of Atascosa, Bandera, Bee, Bexar, 
                Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Coke, Concho, Crane, 
                Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Duval, Ector, Edwards, El 
                Paso, Frio, Gillespie, Glasscock, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, 
                Irion, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, 
                Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleberg, La 
                Salle, Live Oak, Loving, Mason, Maverick, McMullen, 
                Medina, Menard, Midland, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, 
                Reagan, Real, Reeves, San Patricio, Shleicher, Sutton, 
                Starr, Sterling, Terrell, Tom Green, Upton, Uvalde, Val 
                Verde, Ward, Webb, Willacy, Wilson, Winkler, Zapata, 
                and Zavala in the State of Texas.
            (13) Small business.--The term ``small business'' has the 
        meaning given the term ``small business concern'' in section 
        3(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)).



    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--There is established the Southwest 
        Regional Border Authority.
            (2) Composition.--The Authority shall be composed of--
                    (A) a Federal member, to be appointed by the 
                President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
                Senate; and
                    (B) State members, who shall consist of the 
                Governor (or a designee of the Governor) of each State 
                in the region that elects to participate in the 
            (3) Cochairpersons.--The Authority shall be headed by--
                    (A) the Federal member, who shall serve--
                            (i) as the Federal cochairperson; and
                            (ii) as a liaison between the Federal 
                        Government and the Authority; and
                    (B) a State cochairperson, who shall--
                            (i) be a Governor of a State described in 
                        paragraph (2)(B);
                            (ii) be elected by the State members for a 
                        term of not more than 2 years; and
                            (iii) serve only 1 term during any 4 year 
    (b) Alternate Members.--
            (1) State alternates.--The State member of a State 
        described in paragraph (2)(B) may have a single alternate, who 

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